Xiaomi 11 Lite 5G NE: Powerful but superfluous smartphone
We found the Redmi Note 8 update to be a questionable product policy, but Xiaomi has carried it over to the mid-range and upgraded the Mi 11 Lite 5G in the same year, which is unnecessary from our point of view.
The Xiaomi 11 Lite 5G NE is indistinguishable from its predecessor in terms of looks, unless one of the new color options is chosen. It sports a 6.55-inch AMOLED display that can operate at 90 Hz, a 4,250 mAh battery, a triple-camera setup that has a 64 MP sensor from Samsung at its core, as well as an identical MSRP with the same amount of storage.
And the differences? You only notice them when taking a very close look at the spec sheet. First of all, there's the different processors, but the New Edition actually comes with the weaker SoC. Secondly, Xiaomi has chosen the older Gorilla Glass 5 for the 11 Lite 5G NE instead of the more resistant Gorilla Glass 6 that was used in the Mi 11 Lite, but there's a protective film installed out of the box - a weak consolation.
In fact, the new model supports a few additional mobile network bands, and its display's color reproduction is more accurate when the corresponding settings are adjusted. In return, however, the panel has about 8% less brightness.
So is the Xiaomi 11 Lite 5G NE a bad smartphone? No, not at all. It's just annoying that Xiaomi compromises compared with the the predecessor and offers a smartphone that is weaker in parts for an identical MSRP eight months later, and still advertises it as a New Edition.
At the time of writing, the predecessor model is cheaper (among others on Amazon), and as long as this is the case, there's no reason to buy the newer model unless the color choice is the decisive factor.